Psychosocial and Organizational Antecedents of Knowledge Sharing in the Workplace

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Valter Moreno orcid
Flávia Cavazotte orcid
Janicélio Pereira Dutra orcid


Objective: this paper proposes and evaluates a causal model to explain knowledge sharing among peers in the workplace. The proposed model, based on the Theory of Planned Behavior, includes psychosocial factors (transformational leadership, workgroup identification, and shared understanding) and organizational factors (knowledge sharing opportunities and formalization of knowledge sharing processes) as antecedents of individuals' attitudes, perception of subjective norms associated with their group and their direct supervisor, and intention and effective knowledge-sharing behavior. Methods: the model was statistically tested using structural equation modeling techniques with data provided by 131 customer service employees of a large Brazilian telecommunications company. Results: the results indicate that the psychosocial elements have a strong influence on knowledge sharing attitudes and practices. The hypotheses associated with behavioral control have not been confirmed. Moreover, the intention to share knowledge does not seem to be affected by the subjective norms associated with the individual's direct supervisor, but only by those related to their group. Conclusions: the cognitive proximity between group members, reflected in their perception of shared understanding, was an important element in the elicitation of attitudes favorable to knowledge sharing. Additionally, individuals with greater identification with their group tended to have more positive attitudes toward sharing their knowledge. This attitude tends to be more positive when the individual's direct supervisor adopts a more transformational leadership style. The influence of leaders seems to extend from the development of a culture of knowledge exchange and diffusion of principles that stimulate this exchange, to the creation of opportunities to share knowledge through the active management of knowledge diffusion in their teams.


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Moreno, V., Cavazotte, F., & Dutra, J. P. (2020). Psychosocial and Organizational Antecedents of Knowledge Sharing in the Workplace. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 24(4), 283-299.